I often get asked to field test various bits of kit. Over the last 3 years it has been 2 coats, scopes and 2 types of Binoculars.
Most of the kit available these days is of a pretty good standard, and there is a huge amount to choose from, especially if you add in the American market.
I get to test goods across a range of environments, from the highlands of Scotland, where I am usually with clients for a month or more during the rut, right through to the Roe season along with Fallow in England and on the open fields around Bedfordshire for CWD and Muntjac.
About a year ago I was given the opportunity to test a Swazi coat, and although it appeared to be just another jacket in a market that is flooded with all sorts of styles and designs I would like to say that I have been very impressed with it so far. This is not because they advertise on this site, or that they have kindly offered clothing for free to the members through our Supporters scheme. But I am generally impressed with the coat, and it lives up to its claims too, in that it does not let in water.
I find many of the jackets on offer are too thick and slightly cumbersome, usually you end up sweating so much due to the design and padding. The Swazi coat I have enables you to add layers at your discretion and I particularly like the large hood with the wire insert that keeps the weather out. In to many coats the hood is an after thought that really does not give the cover that one needs when walking through driving rain on a Scottish hillside. The only drawback I would add is there are no hand warmer pockets, which although not important, one feels that they should be there. But this is a small issue, as overall they are a very well designed and durable coat that if looked after will give a great deal of service.
Prices are not cheap compared to some other jackets, but you get what you pay for, and in many instances previous jackets I have bought from the States and U.K have only lasted one or two seasons before they let in water, or start to come apart.
As I say there is plenty of clothing on the market these days, and it is much improved from some 40 years ago, but I would add that if you want buy once for top quality I would look at the Swazi range of clothing.
Keep dry and now looking forward to the Red and Sika rut in the highlands.